Friday, June 28, 2019

5 thing Friday - comforter, dinner, sunflowers, plant babies, breakfast

A few weeks ago I bought a comforter and shams from Pottery Barn on a great sale:
Its called Medallion, I think.  Reversible, with shades of dark grey on creamy white which is perfect for our bedroom.
I don't know why exactly, but coming home to the bedroom all neat and pretty helps me relax in the evenings.  Its a cozy and comforting space to me. I spritz it with some lavendar room spray and close the doors every day before I leave.
I've been cooking or prepping dinner first thing in the mornings and leaving it in a specific place for Hubby and Bubbie to find and either cook or heat up.  Saves us from using the oven most nights and ensures that all of us get a good meal, even in the summer.  Not that we don't still have sandwich or salad nights - those are quite nice, too.
 I dug around in my stash and found some sunflowers from a summer past.  It was just the thing for the basket tray on the back patio.  Add some citronella incense or votives and we are all set to play cards and enjoy a glass of wine out there.  Tho the rain we've been having means the mosquitos are in full force! {there is a can of Off! back there, too...}
 My cute little button fern decided to die for no good reason.  So I bought this replacement and went on living my life.  I do love the look of plants in terra cotta pots!
The ones I grouped out back are doing very well.  Its shady here, but they do get a bit of sun daily, and they are getting watered plenty.
That little cage thingy is a pricey photoelectric landscape light.  The top of it never worked, so I unscrewed it, bought a cheapie one at HEB, and placed its top on this one.  Works great now and is very pretty in this little nook at night.
No more hot oatmeal for me in the mornings - I just can't do it in the summer.  I've been enjoying granola with a banana, a few nuts, maybe some dates or raisins, and low fat milk twice a week.  If I have a cheese snack at work it helps me stay out of the candy jar until lunchtime around 2:30!


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Itty bitty bits of summer

I was so busy last week with work and then on call during the weekend, that I managed only a couple of photos of anything we did at week's end:
 Fajita bowls for dinner on Friday - super delish and an easy summer meal!
It was a boring-ish weekend, even with going out on Friday night for a couple of cold ones and some live music at one of our friendly neighborhood breweries:
We also went to Alamo Drafthouse for a movie and dinner Saturday night, a new-to-us Mexican restaurant for breakfast on Sunday, and I both caught up on the novel I was reading and finished a Netflix show I was binge-watching.  Plus, I got a nap and got the week's groceries bought on Sunday, which almost never happens.  So far, no excitement this summer...  I have been diligently referring to my Summer Bucket List and have accomplished several things!  And hopefully the next weekend re-cap will have some progress regarding getting Bubbie to college...stay tuned...

Monday, June 24, 2019

Mealplan Monday #238

Its Summer!
Monday - Indian Chicken Cubes, steamed carrots, creamed corn
Tuesday - Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps, sliced fruit, healthy(ish) chips
Wednesday - Seasoned Pork Chop, Superfood Salad
Thursday - Salmon Patties, sauteed squash and onions
Friday - Quinoa Skillet with beef, taco style (never made this a couple weeks ago)
Saturday - YOYO
Sunday - probably take out

Friday, June 21, 2019

5 thing Friday - photo gifts, donuts, taratula, beer, Father's Day

I pilfered some photos off of Dutch's Facebook page to make some freebies from a certain photo gift company.  Basically all I pay for is the shipping, and it worked out to about $9 a gift.  She took these in South Padre, Texas:

I used these and a couple more to make her a tote bag, plus I ordered some playing cards with a pretty pic from Highlands, and I made The Girl a photo ornament with pictures of Teddy.  All going into my Christmas gifts stash.
Before we finished up on mowing at Highlands last weekend we stopped at a favorite donut place in Bertram for sausage kolaches and apple fritters.  Weekend treats!  During the week we are eating much healthier, scout's honor!
One of our beer glasses got broken at STW, so I ordered a new decal for its replacement.  We stopped by and had a beer with our take-out lunch.  We have renewed our membership, but we are not hanging out there as much as we did last summer - we've been finding new places to go.  Once I get my new playing cards, I will leave them at a brewery on the games shelf for everyone to play with!
A Texas Brown Tarantula at Highlands.  We think it may have gotten accidentally poisoned when we bug-bombed the barn.  That, or it just molted and was resting.  It is a non-aggressive spider, but having it so close to living quarters is a no-go.  We moved it over to the gravel so it could make its escape, but it hung out there until we left.  Hopefully it survived.
On Father's Day, we found a new-to-us BBQ restaurant in Austin, suggested by my sister and brother-in-law.   It was delish (jalapeno coleslaw, pork ribs, brisket, pulled pork...yuuuuum) and we will definitely be back.  They had a cooler at the front door offering complimentary cans of Lone Star while you waited in line.  And right as Hubby made it to the counter and placed his order, they placed a sign on the door that they were running out of BBQ! 
We went home briefly so I could prep Sunday family dinner, then headed over to Flying Man Brewing Co. We had a couple of cold beers under the most gigantic ceiling fan we have ever seen!  Several people were ordering from their food menu and it all looked amazing -we will definitely go back.
Beer in the summer is a good thing.
The Girl bought Hubby some new Hawaiian shirts for Father's Day - now if I could only get him to part with some of the old ones he doesn't wear anymore!  I'm on call this weekend so its the perfect chance for a closet clean-out...

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Summer bucket list

I realized yesterday that I didn't have a Wednesday post - too much going on work-wise and home-wise, I guess.  And I also realized that I never made a bucket list of things to do this summer.  One of those was to make refrigerator pickles!  When I visited my mother last Friday she gave me some cucumbers and tiny onions from her garden.  I made pickles using only what I had on hand: cider vinegar, kosher salt, a little sugar, fresh garlic, peppercorns, a bay leaf, and some dried dill.  I felt pretty darn thrifty and used up some things I now need to replace.  All good.
And to move forward into summer, here is a list of things I would like to do before summer "kicks the bucket":
*make time to read daily
*start up walking again (this will have to happen in the mornings)
*dinner and a movie at Alamo Drafthouse
*see a concert 
*help Bubbie get ready to leave for college (we are planning on spiffing up his room, too)
*take a vacay, even a mini one, somewhere, ANYWHERE
*take a random day off of work here and there and thrift shop
*set up a sewing area do some sewing
*get started on the kitchen spiff by hiring someone to cover the wallpaper with textured wall
*meet up with my friend Carol for a girl's day
*visit The Girl in Houston
*get an Adirondack chair for the backyard and sit back there with a magazine or glass of wine!
None of these things are earth-shattering, but the main thing about them is that they don't involve chores and daily lists of things that HAVE to get done - rather, things I WANT to get done.  And since tomorrow is the official first day of summer...


Monday, June 17, 2019

Mealplan Monday #237

Monday - Buttermilk Herb Chicken - leftover green beans, mashed reds
Tuesday - Crockpot beans with ham, cheesy olive french bread*
Wednesday - Skillet Salmon, yellow squash and onions
Thursday - Crockpot Pulled Pork on buns, coleslaw
Friday - Beef Fajita Salads
Saturday - Mom and Dad out
Sunday - Shredded Korean Beef tacos, Asian Slaw
*After Tuesday I may impose a moratorium on the oven...which is a big sentence meaning I will stop using it so much!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Weekend re-cap: trying to keep it cool in crazy weather

As usual, I have scant decent photos to document the weekend...On Saturday we headed to Highlands bright and early to enjoy some downtime. {read: no mowing, just relaxing}  We stopped at a favorite Mexican restaurant for lunch, met my sister and her hubby at a winery, then enjoyed fondue at our firepit until bedtime.  It was lovely.
I have no pics of it.
On Sunday we headed down 290 to explore and stopped along the way at this place for burgers:
The burgers were huge and very good, but the service wasn't great - we were told we could have onion rings but "it may be a while before we can get them to you".  I get it that a fryer is down, but maybe just make the burgers closer to the time the onion rings are done?  Seems like that would have made sense...We ate up our burgers, took our onion rings to go, and headed out.
It felt like already 100 degrees out so we stopped at Hye Cider Co.  for a cold cider. (actually, as the guy explained to us, its actually "cizer", since its made with honey.  Well...OK.}
 It was like a junk gypsy hideaway complete with  a couple of old guys playing guitar.
There were chicken running around, a giant friendly (and very old) Lab ambling about, and picnic tables for us to enjoy our cider along with a game of cards.  The cider was cold and refreshing, but we decided we would rather seek out some A/C.  I mean shady oaks are great and all, but its full on summer in Central Texas!
 So we headed to Real Ale in Blanco, on the advice of my brother in law.  That beautiful sky belies the storms that were supposedly coming our way.
I really enjoyed the Skullberry {strawberry milkshake IPA}, and Hubby sampled a coffee porter and a Russian Imperial Stout.  So many beers to try, so little time...
 Their main taproom was full of happy people, a dog or two, and nice cold air!
 We will definitely come back here and see about a tasting in their distillery.  And we are really enjoying beer in this heat.  So much more refreshing than red wine!  I could have stayed here all day!
 And I found a place in Austin that sells the Skullberry in cans!  Yes!  So I will definitely check it out this week - the lady at the taps said it was a seasonal beer, so when its gone, its gone.  I'll just have to hide mine in the back of the fridge...
 We may have piddled around a little longer than we should have - multiple alerts on our phones and an ominous looking radar on several TV screens told us that we should head back home asap.  Severe thunderstorms rolled through the area and we carefully but quickly made our way towards North Austin.
We got home safely and the sky virtually opened above us the minute we pulled into the driveway - a little too close to all of the lightening and high winds for me!  Thankfully we did not lose power and within an hour or two of arriving home, it had settled down in our area, but other people lost trees and such.  Scary!  Crazy Texas weather - if you don't like it, just drink a cold one, wait a few minutes, and it will change!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Mealplan Monday #249

Monday - Mole Chicken, Spanish rice, zucchini
Tuesday - (freezer) Spaghetti, chopped salad
Wednesday - Tuna Sammies on Toast, veggie chips
Thursday - BBQ Seasoned Pork Chops, broccoli, mashed reds
Friday - Quinoa Skillet (with beef, spinach, onion, tomato, corn)
Saturday - YOYO
Sunday - Father's Day meal TBD

Friday, June 7, 2019

Making some Summer plans

It may not be officially Summer, but I am working on my summer to-do's around Rustown and we are making plans for projects up at Highlands, too.  Finishing out the barn so the view from our breakfast table isn't so "rustic"?  Yes, on the list.  But also taking a little trip someplace.  And maybe getting Bubbie squared away at his new college home...
Do I plan to read more books?  Cook less?  Learn something new at work?  Work on some crafty and sewing projects?  All YES.  After all, my to do lists can't just all be about the drudge of daily work or a lot of outdoor projects.  Its getting hot outside!
June is like the blank slate for a brand new summer - each one different from the last.  And I am so ready for summer!


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Weekend re-cap: yardwork time and down time, Burnet and Austin

I think that the tall grass and wildflowers at Highlands are attracting more of our little "friends" to live there:
Why hello Mr. Gigantic Wolf Spider.  I'm not really a fan...I wouldn't want a bite from this guy.  Its definitely time to mow!  And seal cracks in the barn as well...
 We got started early Saturday morning - the future backyard of Highlands before a haircut...
 Just imagine how many rattlers, scorpions, and wolf spiders are calling this their home...
...on second thought...I don't want that much nature up close and personal to where I hang out on the weekends!   (and I'm pretty sure we will find mice living in those BBQ grills!)
It was cloudy when Hubby finished mowing.  And at 85 degrees and high humidity we were DONE.  Hubby about passed out in a chair.  We probably should make a rule that says no strenuous outdoor activity past noon until Fall arrives.  The rest of that day was a blur but involved visiting one of our favorite wineries for a delightful pick-up party with tacos and live music.  Then home to Rustown!
 The next morning, Hubby and I had lunch at a new to us Mexican restaurant in Austin.  Homemade corn tortillas, the best barbacoa, fiery hot sauce, nopalitos salad....everything was soooo good!
We stopped at Drought House which was a couple blocks away for a cold one and a friendly game of Jenga.
Which reminds me - we haven't played our giant Jenga much.  Maybe if we get the rest of the yard at Highlands mowed down as it is under a table in a big box surrounded by super tall grass.  Anyhoo, after a beer, we headed over to a winery in East Austin that we used to be members of.
I always really liked them - Hubby not so much.  And it didn't help matters that their new location features zero air conditioning.  Unless you count open doors and fans...We felt bad for the poor lady behind the wine bar that was so nice.  We had one frozen rose (actually pretty good) and hit the trail.
Landing at this winery and enjoying this award-winning red blend called Workhorse.  I don't know - it seemed really hipster and trendy and Austin-like which is starting to feel annoying to me.  Like not authentic, even though they call themselves "urban and approachable".  Huh?   The wine was decent BUT their computer system was down and they could only accept cash.  OH, and they were closing an hour early for a private event...maybe they could have told us that before we bought a bottle of wine to drink there?  Just saying.  We enjoyed our wine, then went home to enjoy spaghetti and salad with Firstborn and Bubbie.  Still sore from all the yardwork.  And hopefully this coming weekend won't see more of the same!


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